Cathie Wood’s Ark Investment Management filed to list a Bitcoin exchange-traded product, the latest company to throw its hat into the crypto fund ring.
The ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF, trading under ARKB, would track the performance of the world’s largest cryptocurrency as measured by the S&P Bitcoin Index. The exchange-traded fund would hold Bitcoin, providing direct exposure to the digital asset, according to a filing.
“This makes a lot of sense because Cathie is on the board of 21Shares, which is a big progressive crypto issuer in Europe,” said Eric Balchunas, ETF analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence. “This gives 21Shares penetration in the U.S. and it’s on-brand for Ark given how vocal and bullish they’ve been on crypto.”
An Ark spokesperson said the firm was not able to comment on the filing.
Regulators have punted on whether to approve a Bitcoin ETF, frustrating many crypto fans who have longed for such a product. The Securities and Exchange Commission said in mid-June that it was seeking more public comment on a proposal to list a product on Cboe Global Markets Inc. And that was not its first such move this year.
There were predictions that the regulator would be more receptive under SEC Chair Gary Gensler, who once taught classes on digital assets at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But since he took the reins in April, the agency has continued to express concerns that crypto exchanges lack oversight. And it has laid out fresh warnings about the risks of mutual funds investing in Bitcoin futures.
At least 14 issuers including Fidelity Investments, Grayscale Investments and WisdomTree Investments have filed for a Bitcoin or Bitcoin futures ETF, according to a tally by Bloomberg Intelligence. In addition, there have been two filings for funds tracking Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency.”
“I don’t know if it increases the chances it getting approved but because she does have a loyal investor following, when a Bitcoin ETF does get approved, she wants to be in the race,” said Mohit Bajaj, director of ETFs at WallachBeth Capital.
Wood has long been a crypto fan and said on Bloomberg Television earlier this year that she sees Bitcoin going to US$500,000. The digital currency currently trades around US$34,000.
Wood’s ARK Next Generation Internet ETF (ticker ARKW) holds Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). Should a Bitcoin ETF be approved, she could swap out of GBTC to hold shares of her own ETF, Balchunas said.